Due to the coronavirus, many events have been canceled or postponed, and our listings may not reflect those changes. Please check with organizers before making plans.
On Sunday, June 20th, the first ever Emerge Gala will take place on World Refugee Day, with a goal to raise funds and awareness for Houston organizations that shine a light on and help the Houston refugee community.
The event will be held at The Ballroom at Bayou Place and kick off with an inspiring exhibition and auction during cocktail hour, where paintings and portraits of refugees created by local artists will be on display. As the night continues, attendees will enjoy a seated dinner and live music from harpist Sarah Hall. Afterwards, attendees will have the chance to hear from an all-star lineup of guest speakers. Emerge Event founder and host, Jennifer Sebasigari, will share her incredible story, including her experience adapting to life in the U.S as a refugee from the Rwandan Genocide over 20 years ago and the inspiration behind giving back to the refugee community. Other guest speakers include Jacquelyn Aluotto, human rights activist, advocate and anti-trafficking specialist, Angela Zeng, PhD, founder and CEO of Karuna Beverages and Michael Bociurkiw, a writer and global affairs analyst.
In recognition of their contributions to the community, Plant It Forward and the O’Donnell Family will be honored for their efforts in refugee education and entrepreneurship. Proceeds from the event will go directly to local nonprofits that serve refugee families in the greater Houston area and the United Nations’ Human Rights Fund. [Organizer's description]